A boat carrying an estimated 700 people has capsized north of Libya’s coast, according to media reports.
The Irish navy said that some 150 people were spotted in the water this morning and although rescue efforts are underway, hundreds of people are feared dead.
Earlier this week, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said nearly 2,000 people are believed to have died at sea since the start of this year.
Each one of these people is a man, woman or child with a name and a family.
Refugee Council Head of Advocacy Dr. Lisa Doyle said:
“It’s sad and shameful to hear of another avoidable tragedy unfolding on Europe’s doorstep.
“Appallingly, Europe has responded to the greatest global refugee crisis since the Second World War by building its walls ever higher: leaving refugees with no choice other than to place their lives into the hands of people smugglers and take ever greater risks in their search for safety.
“Unless Britain and European governments act to offer refugees credible, alternative routes to safety, people will continue to take desperate, fatal risks as they try to access the protection they’re entitled to.”
We’re calling on the Prime Minister to respond to this humanitarian crisis compassionately, by offering thousands of additional resettlement places and by making it easier for refugees to reunite with their family members who are already living in safety in Britain.